The annals of Indian history speak of Baba Saheb Ambedkar's relentless struggle against injustice and oppression. Throughout his life, he worked incessantly to bring about the upliftment of the downtrodden. Finally, in his last message to the people, Baba Saheb called upon them to take forward the caravan he had brought so far.

It is in this context that a group of people took upon the task of celebrating Baba Saheb's birth centenary in a meaningful manner. They called themselves the Baba Saheb Ambedkar Centenary Celebrations Committee. This was in 1990.

The Committee identified certain key issues of the downtrodden and the problems of society in general and decided to send a few people on a year-long bus tour across the state of Karnataka. This was known as the Jatha. Carrying the torch of Ambedkar's philosophy and vision, the Ambedkar Jyothi, the Jatha aimed at the following.

  1. To spread knowledge about the life and mission of Baba Saheb across the length and breadth of Karnataka.
  2. To remove the impression that Baba Saheb Ambedkar is the leader of the dalits alone; to spread awareness regarding his contribution to various aspects of national life and nation building.
  3. To preach against social evils such as caste, dowry and alcoholism.
  4. To bring out 100 booklets on the life and thought of Baba Saheb as well as other individuals who have fought to improve the lives of the downtrodden over the ages.
  5. To build a memorial for Baba Saheb in Bangalore.

The Jatha proved to be a great success and went on to conquer the hearts of the masses. When it returned to Bangalore after its 365-day tour, having completed its mission, it had covered about 20,000 kms and touched more than 2,000 villages.

More importantly, what started off as a programme celebrating Baba Saheb's birth centenary eventually resulted in the formation of a registered trust under the name "Baba Saheb Ambedkar Shathamanothsava Samithi Trust".

Spoorthidhama, Baba Saheb Ambedkar Memorial Campus, was born under the aegis of this trust. It was inaugurated in 1995 by Mr. K. R. Narayanan, the then vice-president of India.